Jen’s Roasted Tomatoes over Roasted Garlic Tzatziki

I love the changes of the seasons. Summer’s flipping wonderful, but fall’s here and I’m leaning into it hard with some cozy weather favorites. Does everyone roast garlic? It changes the flavor completely, with the sharpness giving way to a deep soulful sweetness. Oh baby! I roast a bunch at once, since I’ve already got the oven on. So good. My idea of meal prepping is creating a lot of awesome ingredients that I can throw into a variety of things throughout the week and make them better.

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Jen’s Garlicky Eggplant with Beef and Tomatoes

I went looking for a link to this blogpost yesterday, only to find I’d never blogged about it. Huh. It’s a family favorite. Super easy, delicious, and filled with all the make your body feel oh so good stuff. It has 447 grams of produce towards the 800 gram a day challenge. Hope you love it!

Jen’s Garlicky Eggplant with Beef and Tomatoes

Serves 4

2 Eggplants – Peel stripes and cube 
2-4 Tablespoons olive oil (go with your preference)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Toss.  Roast at 400 for about 20 minutes. Set aside.

1 lb Ground beef
Brown. Drain excess fat if needed.

1 red onion, diced
4 Cloves garlic, minced
Add and saute a few minutes.

Diced tomatoes, 28 oz can
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
½ tsp Black pepper
½ cup Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Add. Place eggplant on top.

½ c beef broth
Add and simmer for 20 minutes.

Toss and garnish with little more parsley if you like. I ran out.


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Need anything? I’m an Amazon Affiliate. Any time you use one of my links to get to Amazon to make a purchase, Amazon gives me a tiny percentage. I put it back into next year’s blog fees. Thank you!

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Escali Primo P115C Precision Kitchen Food Scale

My favorite knife. It’s a 7″ full tang Santoku. I chose the Ikon handle design, which is wonderfully ergonomic. I have spent hours on a produce sculpture before and my hand was just as comfy at the end. It’s worth the pennies.

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Wusthof WU4176 Classic Ikon 7-Inch Santoku, Hollow Edge, Black

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WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

My favorite cast iron skillet is a 12″ Lodge dual handle pan. Why, the long handles are too heavy to hold with a single hand when they’re loaded up. Since you’re using two hands anyway, you might as well get the ones that take up less space and stack so much better!

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Lodge 12″ dual handle cast-iron pan

Best sheet pan

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Same sheet pan with a cooling rack/roasting rack insert. Ooooo!

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I get asked about my spice wall all the time. The magnetic tins on the wall are great for any spices or salt-free blends. Salt corrodes the tins, so anything with salt is in a glass jar on the counter underneath.

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20 magnetic spice tins

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Jen’s Taco Corn Brunch

I’ve been playing in an 800 grams of produce per day challenge. I find that I usually meet that naturally, but I would probably come up short a day or two a week. It seems like people have a harder time hitting the number at breakfast, so I thought I’d do a brunch post. Well, this is what I made after crossfit this morning, and that was like 11:00, so I call it brunch. 🙂 Some of us are late risers.

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Jen’s Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory. I was first introduced to this dish watching Nigella Lawson. She talked about working as cleaning staff in a hotel in Italy to fund her travels. She waxed on about the sunshine and the views, then in classic Nigella style, switched gears from this idyllic imagery to talking about the best hangover breakfast dish with a smile. <snort> That woman has made me cough on more coffee! It is an amazing, effortless dish, and I hope you love my take on it.

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Jen’s Chicken Puttanesca

Rachael Ray made Pasta Puttanesca on her show about 20 years ago. I’m sure she’s done it since, but that was the first time I’d heard of the dish. I was at our weekly playgroup. The babies were playing on the floor together, and the moms were chatting and half-watching as Rachael explained, “The ladies of the night used to put Pasta Puttanesca in the windows to entice customers. The dish is named for them. No disrespect to the ladies.” Rachael looked down, grinning in appreciation of her little joke, and all the moms burst out laughing. We all loved the dish! My version has chicken rather than pasta, and a little more complimentary produce.

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Jen’s Chicken 42

There used to be a sandwich shop in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and my favorite sandwich was the #42. Salami, roasted red pepper, provolone, and aioli. So good. That was the inspiration for this recipe. I hope you love it!

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Jen’s Grilled Grain-Free Lamb Meatballs with Eggplant and Tomatoes

I love lamb. I was in a meatball mood, but wanted to keep dinner grain-free. Almond flour worked beautifully with both the texture and flavor. I hope you love it! If you’re strict Whole30 or Paleo, leave out the feta.

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Jen’s Steak and Eggs with an Herb Sauce and Tomatoes

My herb sauce is similar to chimichurri, but I use about ¼ of the oil. I like to keep it about the fresh herbs. Hope you love it!

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Jen’s Grilled Chicken and Asparagus with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Fontina

I love the combination of grilled chicken with a little fontina, pesto, asparagus, and tomatoes. Pesto’s traditionally made with pine nuts, but walnuts are cheaper and more nutritious, so I’m going that route. Hope you love it!

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Jen’s Steak Salad for 4 Fine Peeps

I was in the mood for a lovely hearty steak salad. Hope you love it, too!

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Jen’s Steak Salad for 4 Fine Peeps

16-24 oz steak – Depends on how hungry your tribe is
Salt and Pepper
Season as early as you can to let the flavor penetrate the meat. Morning of is great. The night before is better. And two nights before is best. It’ll rest in the fridge, uncovered. Set on the counter an hour before you’re cooking it to let it come to room temp so it’ll cook more evenly.

Bacon – 1-2 slices per person, optional
Place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in a cold oven. Turn it to 400 degrees F, and set the timer for 20 minutes. Check it, and let it continue on its journey til it meets your strongly held conviction of the perfect bacon doneness level. Drain on paper towel.

1 red onion
1/2 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
Pinch of salt
Saute until softened and picking up a little color.

Grill the steaks or give them a stove top cast iron sear in butter and olive oil, turning often to desired doneness. Mine’s an internal temp 118 degrees F. Rest. Slice.

Spring Mix
Vinaigrette (Whisk 2 parts red wine vinegar (or whatever you have!), 3 parts olive oil, a squeeze of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and grating of pepper)
Toss and divide between 4 plates.

Top with:
Steak
Tomatoes
Avocado (1/4 – 1/2 per person)
Onions
Bacon (optional)
Blue cheese (optional)


Need anything? I’m an Amazon Affiliate. Any time you use one of my links to get to Amazon to make a purchase, Amazon gives me a tiny percentage. I put it back into next year’s blog fees. Thank you!

My favorite cast iron skillet is a 12″ Lodge dual handle pan. Why, the long handles are too heavy to hold with a single hand when they’re loaded up. Since you’re using two hands anyway, you might as well get the ones that take up less space and stack so much better!

Lodge 12″ dual handle cast-iron pan

I get asked about my spice wall all the time. The magnetic tins on the wall are great for any spices or salt-free blends. Salt corrodes the tins, so anything with salt is in a glass jar on the counter underneath.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 71iqcq6toil._ac_sl1001_.jpg

20 magnetic spice tins

12″ x 24″ magnetic base

My favorite knife. It’s a 7″ full tang Santoku. Full tang just means that the blade runs the full length of the knife. The blade and handle aren’t two separate components, so there’s no breaking point. I chose the Ikon handle design, which is wonderfully ergonomic. I have spent hours on a produce sculpture before and my hand was just as comfy at the end. It’s worth the pennies.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 21-fzcm1jvl._ac_.jpg

Wusthof WU4176 Classic Ikon 7-Inch Santoku, Hollow Edge, Black